Top 8 Eevee Evolutions in Pokemon
Eeveelutions in Pokemon
Thanks to Eevee's cute design, prominence in the anime under Gary Oak, and multiple DNA-splicing evolutions (or, as fans have dubbed them, "Eeveelutions"), foxlike Eevee remains one of Pokemon's most favored Pokemon. Although you'll rarely see its upgrades competitively, many fans still debate back and forth over which forms reign supreme.
We're here today to help stir the pot even further by ranking all eight (as of this writing) Eeveelutions from worst to best, factoring in type, ability, moveset, and stat distribution!
Evolves when: A Fire Stone is used
Ability: Flash Fire
One of Eevee's original three alterations, Flareon lumbers into last place. Why? It learns few moves outside its natural Fire (and the expected Normal) techniques while leveling, its ability never activates if your opponent has any brains (don't hit Flareon with Fire) and its stat distribution is scattered haphazardly. All Eeveelutions share a 525 Base Stat Total, and while Flareon excels in attack, it lags in hit points, defense, and speed, making it too sluggish and fragile to use.
Admittedly, Flareon can be taught moves with tutors/TMs to somewhat alleviate the issue, but it was notoriously bad back before Generation 4 introduced the mechanic of types no longer being either direct or indirect (individual moves determine that now). Prior to this, all Fire strikes were calculated with the special attack score, rendering Flareon's best trait (regular attack) useless in regards to its own type.
Evolves when: Leveled up near an Ice Rock
Ability: Snow Cloak
This Suicune-lookalike from Sinnoh can't compete with its fierce competition. Ice excels offensively, but when it comes to defense, Glaceon's Ice attribute may be the worst element in the game, suffering four weaknesses and only resisting itself. Thus, it's often better to wield Ice attacks from non-Ice Pokemon, and alternative form Vaporeon already learns some Ice techniques to satisfy frigid-seeking trainers.
Additionally, a surprising number of Glaceon's natural moves are physical, using its pitiful attack rather than impressive special attack. Not even a decent evasion-raising ability (when the hailstorm weather condition is active) can save Glaceon from its frozen fate.
Evolves when: Leveled up at night with high friendship or with a Moon Shard in your bag
One of the two evolutions introduced in Generation 2's Johto region, sleek Umbreon has a solid theme to its stats. With strong defense and even better special defense, Umbreon forms a solid (albeit weak and slow) tank.
The Dark type is decent, weak to three elements while resisting two and completely negating once, and the ability Synchronize copies the paralyze, burn, and poison condition back onto the inflicter, but these traits can't save Umbreon's lacking moveset. With average dark moves and few tank-oriented techniques (other than the healing Moonlight), Umbreon can't quite develop into the sturdy damage-soaking stall creature it wants to be. For what it's worth, of all today's entries, Umbreon probably benefits the most from new techniques using tutors, TMs, and breeding.
Evolves when: Leveled up near a Moss Rock
Ability: Leaf Guard
Leafeon offers an interesting blend of decent speed alongside strong attack and great defense, a rare physical-oriented option among the Eeveelutions. It also enjoys a healthy moveset, from the attack-boosting Swords Dance to health-recovering Synthesis to damage-dealing Leaf Blade. Ability Leaf Guard also helps Leafeon's weather-altering Sunny Day move stand out, as harsh sunlight not only improves the Grass-type Solarbeam and Synthesis techniques, it also prevents Leafeon from suffering the main status conditions during the sunlight condition.
Unfortunately, Grass isn't the best element on defense, resisting four elements but taking double damage from five, and the fact that harsh sunlight strengthens Fire moves (one of Leafeon's weaknesses) makes using its ability risky.
Evolves when: A Thunder Stone is used
Ability: Volt Absorb
Like its Kanto brethren, Jolteon suffers from an underwhelming ability, Volt Absorb, only providing a benefit when your opponent is clueless enough to strike with an Electric attack. However, Electric tempts defensively, being weak to only one attribute while resisting three.
Additionally, Jolteon knows exactly what it wants: to hit hard and hit fast. It makes good use of a superb speed and strong special attack to quickly overwhelm foes before they can exploit its low defenses. Jolteon also learns a few irregular moves to expand its repertoire, like the Bug-type Pin Missile, but unfortunately, many of its strikes are physical rather than indirect; you'll have to level it to the upper thirties before gaining any worthy noncontact Electric attacks.
Evolves when: Leveled up with high friendship during the day/morning or with a Sun Shard in your bag
The second Eeveelution offered in Johto (and featured in Pokemon Colosseum), Espeon follows the classic Alakazam/Mewtwo stat distribution of strong speed and excellent special attack. Fortunately, most of its moves are indirect, easily accessing its best stat, and Espeon users savor how its Future Sight technique has been boosted over the years.
Just like Umbreon, it wields the solid Synchronize ability, punishing foes for using condition debuffs. A strong unit, but some potent non-Psychic indirect moves would help against Psychic-immune Dark Pokemon, and Espeon's low HP and defense render it a glass cannon.
Evolves when: Leveled up when knowing a Fairy move and having high affection
Ability: Cute Charm
Sylveon shows off Generation 6's new Fairy type with a great special defense and solid HP. These help it excel defensively alongside its type's qualities, being weak to two elements but resisting three and completely negating one. Plus, Sylveon's strong special attack lets it strike with an impressive range of indirect moves.
Its Cute Charm ability also warrants usage, granting a 30% chance to inflict the dreaded infatuation condition on foes of the opposite gender who attack directly. Since infatuation doesn't classify as one of the main status conditions and gives a 50% chance of each attack failing, it can quickly ruin an opponent's day, especially when used in tangent with other status effects. Toss in some nice barriers and weather control, (Light Screen and Misty Terrain) and you've got a formidable unit, especially considering that the Fairy type has less monsters to pick from than other elements.
Evolves when: A Water Stone is used
Ability: Water Absorb
Vaporeon's disappointing base ability (like Flareon, few are dumb enough to hit Vaporeon with water and replenish its health) is compensated for with a unique stat spread, potent moves, and great type. Water is only weak to two elements but resists four; combined with a surprisingly high HP score (130!), some nice defensive techniques (Acid Armor, Aqua Ring, etc.), and a solid special defense, Vaporeon makes for a decent tank who can actually hit back thanks to strong special attack.
Throw in a few Ice moves while leveling to round out your elemental coverage, and you've got one heck of an Eeveelution. Plus, if the dreadful ability turns you off, remember that (like all Pokemon) Vaporeon bears a hidden ability you can unlock instead, and luckily Hydration easily trumps Water Absorb, curing status conditions during intense rain.
Which evolution do you prefer?
Future of Eeveelutions
Although Generation 7 didn't introduce any new Eevee evolutionary tracks, fans remain hopeful that we'll encounter the unused elements in the future (you can even find many fanmade designs online). With their stat total of 525, Eeveelutions aren't quite big enough to commonly hit competitive tournaments, but are often seen in restricted play.
Beyond that, they're simply fun and unique Pokemon bearing unrivaled evolutionary options, and I look forward to revisiting the debate all over when new forms inevitably release. But for now, as we eagerly await more pathways for Pokemon's cutest fox-dog blend, vote for your favorite rendition and I'll see you at our next Pokemon countdown!
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Jeremy Gill